Dr. Emily Deans coming on the podcast

June 18, 2011 in Events, Classes & Groups | 25 comments

emilydeansDr. Emily Deans’ Evolutionary Psychiatry blog has quickly become one of my favorites over the past year. It’s rare to find a psychiatrist that acknowledges the role of nutrition in mental and behavioral health at all, much less one that approaches these topics from an evolutionary perspective.

I’m excited to announce that Dr. Deans will be joining us on the podcast to discuss nutrition and mental health and answer your questions. We’ll be recording the episode on Friday, June 24th so make sure to leave your questions here by Thursday afternoon PST.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

doug cook June 18, 2011 at 10:04 am

Hi Kris.

Anecdotally it seems to me that ‘mental health’ issues are increasing. I understand that it could be due to better diagnosis etc versus a real increase in incidence etc and other statistical measures etc but can’t help wonder if sub optimal intakes of all nutrients can be involved, beyond total n-6, n-3 and their ratios? I wondered where we are in understanding the possible role of sub-clinical deficiencies of micronutrients as a result of chronic intakes of poor quality food choices, soil mineral depletion etc. B vitamins, magnesium come to mind – does Dr Deans have any thoughts, insights or comments ?

thanks and keep up the great work


Matt O'C June 18, 2011 at 10:46 am

Sounds like a good’n.

I’d be interested in learning how the different states of someones mind can impact the body physiologically. For example nervousness and fear, then joy and excitement. Are the same chemical releases involved in both? What makes one destructive and the other beneficial?

I was just thinking in terms of situations or events where nerves prior to a performance, speech etc then turn to elation, euphoria and excitement once finished. Interesting to determine what the body is going through and individuality aside, whether this is overall going to have a negative impact.

Of course any information on how diet can play a role would be interesting to hear.


Beverly June 18, 2011 at 11:13 am

Question for Chris and Dr. Deans: I’m a nurse on an acute psychiatric unit. I’ve long had an interest in nutrition and mental health. We often have patients that are several years out from Gastric Bypass surgery who are psychotic. Is there any research being done on the long term effects of this surgery? It seems that radically changing the gut’s functioning would lead to mental health issues because of disruption of the brain-gut axis. Thanks!


milad June 18, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Thanks for these great and informative podcasts. my question is the following: can gluten (intolerance) can induce mental and bipolar disorders. I know someone who has GI tract manifestation of gluten intolerance and this person has a sister who almost has always had bipolar disorder (made worse perhaps by medication…). What do you think abou this. Thanks a lot in advance


Jacquie June 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I’m interested in what kind of interface you see between biology and each individuals’ thoughts, feelings and actions. To clarify: Thoughts, feelings and actions are able to influence biology – eg the use of dialectic behavioural therapy can influence neural connections in the healing of complex ptsd/personality disorder. Conversely, nutrition can influence thoughts, feelings and actions eg reducing inflammation helps with the lived experience of depression.
While I definitely see paleo/non-toxic nutrition as one strand of future mental health care, it’s not the only strand. I get a bit worried about privileging biology in such a complex area as I don’t see it as being very far removed from the old-style medical model – just substituting diet for meds.


Robert June 18, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Are there any studies linking drug addiction to diet? Has anyone tried diet to assist in treating drug addiction? In the book, Mastering Leptin, the authors state that drug addiction and alcohol addiction may be a symptom of Leptin insensitivity.


Jerry June 19, 2011 at 3:03 am

Are gulping down probiotics and liver really a way to treat depression? Have you had any depressed patients that got better after you gave them nutrition advice? (in addition to or in lieu of medication and/or cbt?)


Unleash the Kraken! June 19, 2011 at 10:14 am

I would like to hear ED’s views about what exercise regimen is most conducive to mental health.

Thanks for all your great work, ED and CK.


Unleash the Kraken! June 19, 2011 at 11:06 am

Another topic on which I’d love to hear ED’s thoughts…

Like some other paleo folks I know (including Kurt Harris and CK), I meditate regularly. It’s interesting to me that some of the traditions most associated with meditation are largely vegetarian (at least “officially”) and therefore unreceptive to typical paleo diets.

How, if at all, do you think meditation fits into the evolutionary view of human health? Are you aware of any hunter-gatherer societies that practice(d) meditation? Do the benefits of a KH/CK-style paleo diet for mental health render meditation less “necessary” than it would be for people eating a less nutritious, more toxic diet? And can you think of any biological reasons why being vegetarian would be conducive to meditation, as some of the great meditative traditions believe?


Daria June 20, 2011 at 8:23 am

I’d love for her to talk about Alzheimer’s if possible and any links to diet and nutrition.
My mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and she has been a vegan for years.


Peter Silverman June 20, 2011 at 8:27 am

This is a report, not a question.

I had two years of bi-polar, beginning at age 60. Took twelve kinds of psychiatric drugs, no luck. Then tried a supplement from Canada that is for bi-polar: emPowerPlus from Truehope.com, and after several months the mood swings went away, after six more months I discontinued my medications, and it is now six years later, and I have had no mania or depression in that time. It could be coincidence, I have no way of knowing if the supplement did the trick, or what. I have never met anyone else that took that supplement, and I’m not recommending that anyone try it, much less discontinue their medications: I’m a retired psychiatric social worke and well aware that can be disastrous. This just what happened to me.


Cody Bishop June 20, 2011 at 11:13 am

Although substance addicts get a pass in calling into question their “willpower” due to the disease model, the same courtesy has not been expanded to what could potentially be called “food addicts.” I know there is some work through Yale on this front, but is the willpower model of self-control outdated? Is the ability to say no, wipe the drool off one’s face, and put the cinnabon back in the box more an issue of biology or will? How do you handle this situation with patients? Do patients eventually settle into a place where dealing with cravings are less troublesome?

Also, one’s ability to improve willpower has been demonstrated to be capable of being strengthened. If willpower is an issue, would the prospect of practicing bouts of self-control be worthwhile compared to avoiding them all together?

Many thanks for all you and Chris do, it means more than you may know.


Mind Flayer June 21, 2011 at 9:30 am


Can you please discuss the role that iron deficiency anemia has on psychiatric issues? Thank you!


Casey June 21, 2011 at 11:51 am

Hello Emily,

Have you done much research on pmdd? How connected is it to actual depression? Do you see any possible causes from a diet/evolutionary perspective?


Maggie June 22, 2011 at 1:54 pm

I am heartbroken by the number of children I know via family, friends, or coworkers who strike me as “not normal”. It’s behavioral problems, or scripting instead of conversing, underweight or overweight…something seems very wrong! I’m interested in hearing Dr. Deans discuss this.


Erik June 23, 2011 at 9:55 am

A question for Dr. Deans: does she recommend supplementing with l-tryptophan to treat depression? If not, which supplements does she recommend instead of SSRIs?


Jenni June 23, 2011 at 11:33 am

what would be your advice for someone with a food addiction? – stemming from childhood, I was left alone and turned to food as my friend or comfort from being so lonely. trying to get over this now at age 28. I know what I should/shouldn’t be doing, but am not following through with what will help me. thanks


Jessica June 23, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Hi Chris and Dr. Deans:

I’ve been reading about biofilm treatment protocols for kids with autism. Thinking about the gut-brain connection, can breaking down biofilms (using a product such as Klaire Labs Interfase) also be useful for folks dealing with depression, anxiety, etc?


Nancy June 23, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Is there a connection between panic attacks and magnesium deficiency?


Nancy June 23, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Also, is there a connection between heavy metal toxicity (mercury, mainly) and panic attacks?


John Anderson June 23, 2011 at 7:22 pm

What do you guys think of “true hope”?
Very broad claims are made for this product and while I am perfectly willing to believe them, there is little here that is not contained in a normal multi-vitamin.
Do you believe that claims made for this product are legitimate, and that the vitamins are truly formulated with mental health in mind, or that this is merely an expensive($70 a bottle), though perhaps effective multi-vitamin?
thank you,


Dean Jameson June 23, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Is it possible that fatigue and depression might be caused by low heamtocrit and hemolgobin levels?
My doctor thinks not, but has failed to explain the cause of my anemia.


Chris Kresser June 23, 2011 at 7:50 pm

I think you need a new doctor. Fatigue and depression are two of the most likely symptoms of anemia. Anemia = reduced oxygen deliverability. All cells in the body (especially the brain) require oxygen to function well. No oxygen, no function.


Liz June 23, 2011 at 8:35 pm

I am on several psych meds for the long term and am also suffering long-term chronic constipation as side effect. What can you recommend to help when even a good diet (as in “Perfect Health Diet” by Paul Jaminet) hasn’t helped? My physician recommends ducorate sodium and prune juice and I don’t agree. Would appreciate your thoughts.


Mary June 24, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Hi Dr. Deans,

I’m a reader of your blog and really appreciate your writings on apoe4 and Alzheimer’s. The literature as to what the apoe4 genotype should eat, though — in terms of fat — is very confusing. Should it be low, or high? If you have particular recommendations for apoe4 types (especially apoe4/4), I’d greatly appreciate hearing them.

Thanks (and keep up the great, interesting work)!


Cancel reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

Designed by Evan Haas & Soy Pak